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My guest for this year's State of the Union was Viviana Andazola Marquez. Her father, Melecio Andazola-Morales, was deported in December after living in the U.S. since 1998. He was the sole provider for his wife and four children.

On October 12, 2017, Melecio had an appointment with USCIS in Aurora, CO. According to the family, it was thought to be one of the last steps in the 16-year process for Melecio to get a green card. Instead he was detained at the appointment and ultimately deported despite efforts from myself and others to try and delay and defer action on his case.

The case of Viviana’s father is devastating. A senior at Yale University, Viviana has pledged to keep fighting for her father and other immigrants in similar situations. Viviana and her family exemplify one of the many reasons we need to pass humane and common sense immigration policies that keep families together, help our communities, and grow our economy.

I also believe in the critical need for an infrastructure package. When President Trump took office, I saw an opportunity to work with him and the Republican Congress on tax reform paired with infrastructure. It’s unfortunate the Republicans chose to spend $1.5 trillion, at best, on tax cuts for their wealthy donors rather than helping hardworking families or addressing our country’s infrastructure needs. With many Coloradans feeling the squeeze of a growing economy and increased congestion, I hope President Trump and the Republican Congress approach infrastructure in a bipartisan way with real investments in our communities so it can have a broader impact and actually make a difference in the lives of hardworking families.

Under this administration, we have seen confusion and chaos but one thing is clear: we must continue to hold this administration accountable and stay vigilant against policies that threaten Colorado’s economy or infringe on the values Coloradans cherish. 

proposed cuts to clean energy research, nrel in fy19 budget

News broke yesterday that the White House planned to seek a 72% cut in clean energy research in their fiscal year 2019 budget. These deep cuts could have devastating impacts on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden. I wish I could say I was shocked by this budget request but unfortunately I’m not. I’ve been warning my Republican colleagues that their $1.5 trillion giveaway to corporations and their wealthy donors would lead to further cuts to programs important to Colorado and the future of our country.
NREL is the world’s premier renewable energy and energy efficiency lab
working to improve the way we power our nation. These are long-term investments in technologies and materials which have the capability of completely transforming our energy infrastructure. Additionally, NREL employs 1,700 workers and hundreds of contractors, interns and visiting researchers and is estimated to have a $870 million economic impact nationally.

Earlier this week, in a hearing with several Energy Department officials, I asked about the potential impact of the recent $1.5 trillion tax package on other important programs, including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

Despite the Administration’s refusal to request the necessary funds for this important scientific research, Congress has the power of the purse, and I plan on working with my colleagues to push back against these proposed cuts so the men and women at NREL can keep doing their part to innovate for the future and to better our economy.


On January 16, 2018, a bipartisan group of nineteen state attorneys general sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to protect public safety and pass the SAFE Banking Act. The letter points to the recent rescission of the “Cole Memo” guidance as a reason why Congressional action is “even more urgent”.

“To address these challenges, we are requesting legislation that would provide a safe harbor for depository institutions that provide a financial product or service to a covered business in a state that has implemented laws and regulations that ensure accountability in the marijuana industry such as the SAFE Banking Act or similar legislation,” the letter reads.

In April 2017, I introduced H.R. 2215, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act) to ensure financial institutions could service marijuana-related businesses without the fear of reprisal from the federal government. Currently, hundreds of licensed and regulated businesses do not have access to the banking system and are unable to accept credit cards, deposit revenues, or write checks to meet payroll or pay taxes.

This legislation will get cash off the streets and reduce the threat of crime, robbery and assault in our communities. Voters have spoken on this issue and voted to legalize some form of marijuana in nearly every state in the country. States are taking responsible steps to regulate the industry and we must ensure that includes access to the banking system.


Click here for a list of all upcoming events.

What: Tuition Fair and Scholarship Panel ­– This event will feature various organizations, schools, scholarships, and resources available to students. 
When: Saturday, February 3 | 10:00am to Noon
Where: Jefferson High School | 2305 Pierce Street, Edgewater, CO 80214
Click here to RSVP.

What: Telephone Town Hall ­– A telephone town hall is a live conference call you can participate in from your own home. Join me for a discussion about some of my 2018 priorities and a live Q&A. 
When: Tuesday, February 13 | 7:00pm to 8:00pm
How: Click here to sign up and you will receive a call when the town hall starts.

What: Senior Resource Fair ­– Find information on mobility services, health care or other senior services offered in our community.
When: Friday, March 2 | 10:00am to Noon
Where: Margaret Carpenter Rec Center | 11151 Colorado Blvd, Thornton, CO 80233
Click here to RSVP.

What: Housing Resource Fair ­– Find information on housing resources and services offered in our community. 
When: Saturday, March 24 | 10:00am to Noon
Where: Wheat Ridge High School | 9505 W. 32nd Avenue, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Click here to RSVP

What: Telephone Town Hall ­– A telephone town hall is a live conference call you can participate in from your own home. Join me for a discussion about some of my 2018 priorities and a live Q&A. 
When: Monday, March 26 | 7:00pm to 8:00pm
How: Click here to sign up and you will receive a call when the town hall starts.